Give the people what they (don't think they) want: On memorizing poetry

Kathy Lou here. When I taught the early part of the American lit survey course here at the Univ. of Memphis during the summer, I instituted the First Annual Emily Dickinson Poem-A-Thon in which all students were required to memorize--and recite in front of the class--at least one Dickinson poem. I gave them the option of memorizing more poems and competing for extra credit. They LOVED this. It was a summer session with people trying to cram in credits to graduate and many not thrilled to be there, but they actually invited friends and family to come listen to the recitation. I'm with Bob Gluck, MORE memorization!

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